Few honors in Palm Springs are as prized as being named a grand marshal in the annual Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade. On Wednesday, we learned who gets the honor this November.
This year the honors and who they go to include the following:
Grand Marshal: Rev Benita Ramsey (they/them/she), a spoken word artist and Pentecostal-style preacher who works as an ordained minister and pastor at Unity Fellowship Church-IE and as a program support manager for Inland Empire HIV Planning Council, as well as serving as executive director of Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance.
Community Grand Marshal: Willie Rhine, the co-owner of 1501 Uptown Gastro Pub and Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge, is a 30-year-resident who says he started giving back in the 1990s by volunteering his construction skills to work with HIV patients. His establishments have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities.
Celebrity Grand Marshal: Chef André Carthen, who works with Kathy Ireland, a leading force for diversity and continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS.
National Grand Marshal: PFLAG, an organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ people and educating their parents, friends, and family. The organization has hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members.
What they’re saying: “The grand marshals stand out in their professions and are among the valley’s most active advocates for equality, diversity, and living their life lifting others,” said Ron deHarte, president and CEO of Greater Palm Springs Pride.
- DeHarte added that bestowing the grand marshal designation recognizes the recipient’s collective work of spreading messages of unity and equality while embracing love, positivity, joy, and kindness.
Details: The Pride Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Nov. 6 at Palm Canyon Dr. and Tachevah. This year’s theme is “Say Gay,” in defiance of the homophobic Florida “Don’t Say Gay” law and other anti-LGBTQ+ laws being passed across the country.